Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 

Victory for Cagle


Cagle wins, awaits challengerReed concedes;
Hecht, Martin in Democratic runoff Aug. 8

By HARRIS BLACKWOODThe Times
Paula Stuhr The Times
Sen. Casey Cagle, with wife Nita Cagle, acknowledges the crowd before his victory speech Tuesday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Chestnut Mountain Republican defeated Ralph Reed for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.
Paula Stuhr The Times
Sen. Casey Cagle greets the crowd as he steps onto the podium to give his victory speech Tuesday night at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Chestnut Mountain Republican will face the winner of a Democratic run-off election for the state's lieutenant governor post.
Paula Stuhr The Times
Sen. Casey Cagle, seated, and Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, watch the returns on television from Cagle's suite Tuesday night in the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Cagle, who has represented Hall County for six terms in the state Senate, earned the GOP's nomination for lieutenant governor.
Lt. governor* - Republican
Casey Cagle, 222,523 votes, 56.1 percent,
Ralph Reed, 173,938 votes, 43.9 percent
Winner faces Democratic runoff winner in Nov. 7 general election.
* Results are with 94 percent of precincts reporting statewide.
Candidate profile
Casey Cagle (R)
Age: 40
Residence: Oakwood
Occupation: State senator. Member of board of directors of Gainesville Bank & Trust. Owns various real estate investments. Former tuxedo rental store owner and weight-lifting instructor.
Personal: Wife Nita, three sons.
Education: Attended Georgia Southern University in 1984, where he was a redshirt football player but dropped out after repeatedly tearing his Achilles tendon. Attended Gainesville College, 1985-1986.
Political experience: Campaign manager for state House candidate James Mills in 1992. First elected to state senate in 1994 at age 28, defeating an incumbent Democrat. Re-elected in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002.
Religious affiliation: Blackshear Place Baptist, Flowery Branch.
Web site: http://www.caseycagle.com/
Casey Cagle, a 40-year-old state senator from Hall County, defeated former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed on Tuesday to become the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor.
Cagle, beaming brightly, came to the podium just before 10:15 p.m. and thanked God, then his family and his supporters for his victory.
"This is a humbling experience," said Cagle to the crowd assembled in the concourse of the Arena at Gwinnett Center. He said that Reed had called earlier in the evening to concede and pledged to help Cagle in his general election bid.
"But the good guys won tonight," said Cagle.
The rumors of the concession began swirling around 9:45 p.m. and the excitement of the crowd reached a fever pitch as Cagle and his family came to the podium amidst chants of "Ca-sey, Ca-sey." With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Cagle had 56 percent of the vote to Reed's 44 percent. In Hall County, Cagle took 78.67 percent.
While cordial in his comments about Reed, Cagle seized an opportunity to take a gentle jab at his opponent.
"I remember the first meeting I had with (Reed) in my office, when he informed me he was going to be the next lieutenant governor," said Cagle.
Cagle said that despite being the lesser-known candidate, he eclipsed fundraising goals throughout the campaign.
Tom Pridemore, a former player for the Atlanta Falcons who lives in South Hall, said Cagle's victory is positive for Hall.
"This is a big night for Hall County," said Pridemore, formerly a member of the West Virginia legislature. "Georgia has now got a great man to serve as lieutenant governor with integrity."
State Sen. Eugene "Chip" Pearson, R-Dawsonville, said that he was not surprised by Cagle's strong showing on Tuesday.
"We thought it was either going to be big for Casey or narrow for Ralph," said Pearson, who is chairman of Cagle's campaign. Pearson and 22 of his senate colleagues supported Cagle in the race.
"Each one of us (senators) represents 150,000 people, and when they are undecided and we make a personal appeal, they trust us," said Pearson.

http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20060719/localnews/111438.shtml

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